Sister Jane may not be a household name just yet but from where I’m sitting, that looks like it could be about to change pretty soon. Much as I dream of wearing Prada from morning ’til night, when it comes down to it, I’m a high street girl and few things excite me more than discovering a brand who’s looks I love and have some hope of actually owning. A couple of years ago I braved the Oxford Circus Topshop and, to my delight, stumbled across an adorable, frill collar blouse by Spanish brand, Sister Jane. I snapped it up in a heart beat and since then have stepped out in that preppy-chic little number on more occasions than I can even remember. So, I was thrilled when I got the chance to chat with Sister Jane’s Founder/Designer Bea Deza, AKA the woman responsible for creating one of my most-worn blouses…
LPA: When and why did you decide to found Sister Jane?
BD: I spent three years in banking and started feeling a uncomfortable about not fulfilling my dreams and being so far from my element. It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to do and little by little I found that it was expressing my feelings through design that made me feel at ease. During my career in banking I had travelled the world and during that time, was lucky enough to find factories in Asia where I later started having some of my designs made. So Sister Jane started in a very organic way. It took a lot of courage to change my whole life but I think you can’t go wrong when you are true to yourself.
LPA: Tell me a little about your professional background. What did you do before Sister Jane?
BD:I studied finance and law in Madrid then I worked in banking in New york and London. In my holidays I took some short courses in fashion design at Central St Martins.
LPA: Do you design with a specific girl, or character in mind? If so, who is she?
BD: At the very beginning I got ALL my inspiration from Florence Welch. She helped me a lot to be couragous and believe in my designs. She is probably one of the people that has inspired me most back when she started, two years ago. I also get a lot of inspiration from exhibitions, music bands and the street tribes in London.
LPA: How would you describe the Sister Jane aesthetic?
BD: I think is when excentricism meets classicism, if that makes any sense… The Sister Jane girl is an old soul but at the same time she is a rebel so all the designs have a ladylike base but with a grungy twist.
LPA: Instead of designing just one collection each season, Sister Jane stock gets updated every six weeks! Why did you make the decision to do this? And more importantly, how do you manage it?
BD: When I observe the world and our generation I see that people get tired of things very quickly and nothing lasts long. Sister Jane tries to adapt to this new world we live in. Plus, individuality has become a big value in our society so Sister Jane aims to cater to that by constantly launching new styles that no one has already. In a way, we are launching ¨limited editions¨ all the time. this seems to work very well, although we NEVER stop, we NEVER sleep, but we will when the time comes!
LPA: Fashion is an incredibly competitive business and I can imagine that running your own brand is pretty touch at times. What do you feel has been the secret to Sister Jane’s success so far?
BD: I think that if you have a good product you can’t go wrong and the styles we launch seem to work. You have to be agile in this world we live in and flexible, and a good observer!
LPA: You’ll soon be opening your first UK standalone store in Portobello and spend a lot of your time travelling between London and Madrid. How do you feel English and Spanish style are different?
BD: I guess Spanish style represents the nostalgia of my ¨past traditions¨and the English symbolizes excenticism. I’m crazy for British exentricism! You can’t find it anywhere else in the world. Thats why Sister Jane is ultimately an English brand, she was born in London.
LPA: What advice would you give to someone hoping or planning to launch their’ own fashion brand?
BD: If you love what you do, you will succeed. Observe the world, believe in yourself and get together with a geek friend who understands numbers and can write a savvy business plan. Artists and numbers are not good friends and at the end of the day, it is a business.
LPA: What’s your ultimate aim for the Sister Jane brand?
BD: We want to inspire people to find themselves through clothes. And if we need to open stores all over the world to achieve that then we will!
Love Ella. X